The University of North Florida poll indicates Floridians disapprove of President Trump’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak. And a majority of respondents said they do not trust the president in dispensing "reliable" information about COVID-19.
A poll released Monday shows that, as the nation is told to brace for the worst of the coronavirus outbreak, Floridians are giving President Donald Trump and Gov. Ron DeSantis "mixed" revews on their crisis leadership.
The Public Opinion Research Lab at the University of North Florida survey said 53% of Floridians polled gave Trump a thumbs down for his handling of the crisis while only 45% said they "strongly or somewhat approve" of the president’s performance.
In addition, asked if they trusted the president "to provide reliable information about the coronavirus," 58% said they did not while just 41% said they did.
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DeSantis fared better, with a 51% overall approval rating and 49% of respondents giving him a negative score. A larger share of Floridians, 55% to 41%, said they trusted DeSantis to provide reliable information about the disease.
A stunning 79% of those polled said they are "very or somewhat concerned" about contracting the virus.
"Floridians are clear in their stance on who they trust, and it’s not their political representatives," said Michael Binder, director of the Public Opinion Research Lab, said in a statement. "Health organizations have the spotlight and authority to make suggestions to officials, and it would behoove politicians to follow their advice, especially as election season creeps closer."
To that last point, public health expert Dr. Anthony Fauci received an 85% approval rating, with only 6% disapproval, in the poll. Fauci is the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and has commanded the a public spotlight in advising Americans, and the White House, on actions they need to take to protect themselves and stop community spread of the virus.
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Also polling favorably were a series of Florida mayors.
— Jane Castor, Mayor of Tampa received 78% approval among voters in that city.
— Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry had 70% approval.
— Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, who tested positive for COVID-19, got 68% approval.
— Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer came in at 61%.
"Relative to Trump and DeSantis’ support, mayors and local government have filled the leadership void and been rewarded with high levels of support," Binder said.